Amundson ordered to pay more than $19K
Jeffery Amundson, the former president of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale who was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a vulnerable adult, was ordered Monday to pay more than $18,500 in restitution.
Amundson originally was charged with four counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult; in April, he entered an Alford plea of guilty to one of the counts. As part of the plea agreement, one count was amended to theft, to which Amundson pleaded guilty. In exchange, the remaining counts were dismissed at sentencing.
With an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his innocence but acknowledges the evidence would be sufficient to convict him.
Amundson received a stay of adjudication in the case. With a stay of adjudication, the defendant pleads guilty, but the court doesn't "accept" the plea. When probation and its conditions are successfully completed, the charges are dismissed and the defendant's criminal record doesn't reflect a conviction. The arrest record remains.
In addition to paying $19,261.58 in restitution and fines, Amundson was ordered to complete a mental health screening and have no contact with the victim. He also must not hold a position of fiduciary responsibility and was placed on probation for six months.
The charges against Amundson, 46, were filed in January 2015, after an employee at a licensed group home in Rochester told authorities Amundson had been spending the victim's money on himself, and the victim was receiving only $20 per month.
That prompted authorities to gather the victim's financial records from 2010-13. An analysis of those records revealed numerous suspicious debit card purchases, including many restaurant and online purchases, as well as cash withdrawals by Amundson, court documents say.
When questioned by authorities, Amundson denied stealing the funds, claiming the victim owed him $20,000 because he had "paid for the victim's apartment and helped him get Social Security benefits and medical assistance," according to the complaint.
Amundson had once told staff with Olmsted County Adult Protective Services that the victim owed him $50,000.
Court documents itemize more than $18,500 spent by Amundson from January 2011 through December 2013.
He told investigators, however, that he'd been taking money for about a year, tracking the amount, but said a fire destroyed the paperwork that documented it.
The RSOC assured its members that its financial integrity hadn't been compromised. Amundson, who had been with the organization since April 2011, was placed on unpaid status in April 2015.